Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteer LaDoris Bias-Davis

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over 200 volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitors Center & Museum Shop, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked our volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved at Oakland and their experiences here.

Meet LaDoris Bias-Davis

Tell us a little about yourself:
I am LaDoris Bias-Davis. I’m Mississippi born and bred into a family of 13, so you know I have stories to tell! I’m an educator/trainer-consultant and storyteller/actor by trade. I’ve been telling tales and facilitating workshops across the United States for 15 years. My programs are tailored to schools, libraries, youth groups, early childhood organizations, literacy/reading programs, motivational assemblies, corporations, family reunions and more. From fables to fairy tales, fiction to non-fiction, Bible stories to “bet ya can’t tell just one” stories, the Ezra Jack Keats collection, Gullah tales, African-American and inter-cultural tales and “me and Mississippi” collection of personal stories, I try to engage audiences and provide programs for interactive learning. I have a bachelor of arts in speech and theatre, and a graduate degree in early literacy education. But really I’ve been spinning tales and creating characters since I learned to talk.

How did you get involved in volunteering with Oakland?
Oakland was looking for actors of African-American descent for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours about nine or 10 years ago. The intent was to showcase some of the stories in Oakland’s African American section. I was recommended by someone who knew someone already volunteering at Oakland. I came aboard as Carrie Steele-Logan and the rest, as they say, is history.

What do you like most about volunteering at Oakland?
My role at Oakland is to share stories and bring to life the history and lives of some of the amazing residents here. I volunteer at Sunday in the Park, the Juneteenth observance, and at Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours, usually in the role of an actress or storyteller. I volunteer at Oakland because I love being involved in learning about the wonderful people buried there and sharing their stories with thousands of people year after year. I love the camaraderie of the staff and fellow volunteers. What I like most is working with fellow volunteers and bringing to life the characters so their stories can be told and their lives and contributions appreciated. It is an amazing place to be a part of!

Volunteer LaDoris Davis portrayed Dr. Beatrice Thompson during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland.

What is your favorite Oakland experience or memory?
My favorite experience is every single night of the Halloween tours and every single character I’ve played. One particular highlight was when I, playing Julia Hayes Palmer, was paired with a male actor playing Dr. Fred Palmer, a white man who invented Palmer’s Cocoa Butter and married Julia, a former slave. We gave the script a lot of drama as we informed the crowd “our marriage caused quite a stir back in our day!” The crowds roared with laughter! Oakland visitors help make the moments memorable and unforgettable.

HOF Volunteer applications have closed for 2018. However, if you would like to be considered for future volunteer opportunities or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please contact Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers: rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or 404-688-2107. 

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteer Loran Crabtree

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked some of Oaklands volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.

Meet Loran Crabtree

Loran serving as a tour guide at Oakland Cemetery.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m 28 years old and born and raised in the metro Atlanta area (Atlanta and Forsyth County.) I’ve been a police officer for the last six years. My family has been in the City of Atlanta since the 1870s. My great, great, great grandfathers on both sides served in the Civil War. My great uncle was an Atlanta police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1902.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland?
I was interested in local Atlanta history and a friend of mine mentioned Oakland was hosting a volunteer orientation… and the rest, as they say, is history. I volunteer at Oakland because local Atlanta history is very important to me. Having the Crabtree side of my family live and prosper in Atlanta since the 1870s makes it a special place for me. Volunteering at Oakland ensures that the people buried here won’t be forgotten and neither will their stories. Oakland is also a very relaxing place to me. With the stress of my job and life in general, I need an outlet that is relaxing and volunteering at Oakland does this for me.

What do you do at Oakland?
I’m mainly a tour guide but I work in the Visitors Center & Museum Shop, and I work at the Foundation’s special events. I also independently research Oakland and the cemetery’s residents. I love being around the other volunteers and networking with them. I also enjoy meeting the guests who come to Oakland and conversing with them.

What is your favorite Oakland experience or moment?
This would be a tie between portraying a Confederate soldier for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tour and meeting some of Captain William A. Fuller’s descendants. At Capturing the Spirit of Oakland in 2015, I read the roll call of Confederate dead. I met Capt. Fuller’s descendants one day when I was working in the Visitors Center. A lady came in and as we started talking, it turned out she was Capt. Fuller’s great, great granddaughter. We discussed the Great Locomotive Chase, and she even described to me remembering when the Fuller family cemetery was dug up and moved to make way for a Shoney’s.

If you are interested in volunteering at Historic Oakland Cemetery, want to be considered for our January 2018 new volunteer orientation, or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please e-mail Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers, rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or call 404-688-2107. 

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteers Joan Fountain and Al Stephens

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. We’ve asked some of Oakland’s volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.

Meet brother and sister volunteer team Joan Fountain and Al Stephens

Tell us a little bit about yourselves:

From left: Joan Fountain, Al Stephens, and wife Diana.

Al Stephens: My sister Joan and I grew up in Candler Park, living with our older sister, mother and grandparents. My wife Diana and I have two daughters and five grandchildren. We lost our son Daniel in 2007.

Joan Fountain: I have been married to my husband Andy for 45 years. We are blessed with three amazing children, an extraordinary daughter-in-law and four remarkable grandchildren. For the past 35 years I have been a Certified Registered Nurse (RN) in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Atlanta Medical Center. I am a certified preceptor for students and new employees, and teach classes for Neonatal Resuscitation and Stabilization.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland?
JF: My big brother Al had been a tour guide at Oakland for several years, and had suggested that I, too, might enjoy doing the same. In 2008, I did just that. We grew up in Candler Park, and Al had biked through Oakland in his youth (long, long ago!) I had only visited once.

AS: I began coming here while growing up and rode my bicycle here. Over the years, I continued visiting, and one day saw a tour being given. I volunteered to do that and have been ever since. I fell in love with Oakland while growing up. I love the artistry of the monuments, the history here and the opportunity to share my interest with others. I give the “Sights, Symbols and Stories” overview tour, “Oakland and the Civil War,” and the “Malts and Vaults of Oakland” beer tours. I also work in the Visitors Center & Museum Shop, and am an actor during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours, and volunteer at other special events.

Al Stephens in character during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours

What do you like most about volunteering at Oakland?
JF: How much time do you have for an answer?! History, exquisite statuary and flora, being an ambassador for Oakland to people from all over the world. Our Oakland volunteer family is diverse, but every person in it is friendly and caring. We have grown so much; my “graduating class” of volunteers in 2008 had only about a dozen members. I enjoy myself immensely working in the Visitor’s Center & Museum Shop, at special events, and giving a few tours and learning new facts about Oakland and the residents. Visitors tell about their family members; other volunteers research and share their knowledge; and we learn new material with each new tour. I have accumulated a vast library of books at home on Atlanta and cemeteries. My very first purchases on eBay were volumes one and two of Franklin Garrett’s Atlanta and Environs.

AS: Interacting with those interested in learning about what’s here, being with the good friends who volunteer here, and sharing my common interest with Joan, who in addition to being a wonderful tour guide and volunteer, is one of the finest people I know.

What is your favorite Oakland experience/moment?
AS: Meeting descendants of those who are on the tours. I have met and talked with the Ivy family, related to Hardy and Sarah Todd Ivy and relatives of Dr. Noel D’Alvigny to name a few. The Ivys told me where they thought Hardy is buried, and I was able to give the D’Alvigny descendants information that they didn’t know.

JF: During and after the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours. Walking in the moonlight in Oakland is sublime!

If you are interested in volunteering at Historic Oakland Cemetery, want to be considered for our January 2018 new volunteer orientation, or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please e-mail Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers, rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or call 404-688-2107. 

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Volunteer Jihan Hurse

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked some of Oaklands volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.


Meet Jihan Hurse

As a volunteer, Jihan Hurse helps bring Oakland’s history to life.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I’m a highly-functional introvert. I consider myself to be an early adopter, and I am a huge content connoisseur – I read multiple newspapers, several blogs, and various news websites online daily. I try to read four to six books a month on a broad range of genres. I am fashion-forward, and shoes are my favorite weakness. I love thrift shopping.

I volunteer for Make-A-Wish GA. I am a tour guide at Historic Oakland Cemetery and the CDC Museum. Professionally, I have worked at a federal public health agency for the last 15 years. Before that, I modeled professionally for 10 years. However, I aspire to publish a novel, become a TV writer, start a non-profit for single mothers, start a publishing and production company…just to name a few.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland?
I attended one of the Black History Month tours of the African American Grounds. I recognized many familiar names and wanted to learn the stories behind the names. As an introvert, I wanted to challenge myself, and I thought that volunteering as a tour guide would provide a unique opportunity to strengthen my public speaking skills and be more social.

I volunteer as a weekend tour guide and also work as one of the guides in the African American Grounds. Atlanta is a diverse city in many aspects: racially, culturally, economically. Oakland demonstrates these characteristics of the city through the various stories and backgrounds of its residents. Volunteering allows me to share the rich diversity of the city.

What do you like most about volunteering at Oakland?
I take the definition of the word “guide” literally, and I like to think I guide visitors on a journey; transporting them in time to when our residents were alive. I also love the camaraderie amongst the volunteers and shared passion of history. I least like the hill near the Confederate section in the middle of July or August!

Jihan Hurse leading a tour at Historic Oakland.

What is your favorite Oakland experience/moment?
I don’t have a specific memorable moment at Oakland. There are so many it’s hard to choose just one. I will say I favor those magical moments when an Atlanta native is on a tour and they recognize a name such as “Inman” or “Austell” and they connect the dots that these aren’t just names of areas, cities, streets, et cetera – they were actually people. You can actually see the thought connect and their eyes light up. It reminds me of my first visit and the day I fell in love with Oakland.


HOF Volunteer applications have closed for 2018. However, if you would like to be considered for future volunteer opportunities or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please contact Richard Harker, Director of Special Events and Volunteers: rharker@oaklandcemetery.com or 404-688-2107

 

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteer Mary Price

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over two hundred volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitor Center, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked some of Oaklands volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.

Meet Mary Price

Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I am currently a self-contained Special Education teacher at Druid Hills High School. I’ve worked in a number of different jobs as an adult because I’ve never wanted to be tied down in a job to the point of hating the job. I am originally from Quitman in South Georgia. It’s a place of fond memories but not a place to spend a whole life, though I still visit my family there.

How did you get involved in volunteering at Oakland and why do you volunteer here?
I like cemeteries because they are historical goldmines. So much of the social history of a place can be gleaned from a walk through a cemetery like Oakland. So I took a walk here one summer day and decided I’d like to explore the volunteer opportunities. I wasn’t really sure what volunteering in a cemetery would involve, but it sounded promising. I had worked in downtown Atlanta and attended Georgia State University, so I had ridden past Oakland on MARTA for several years. I was intrigued.

What do you do at Oakland and what do you like the most about volunteering at Oakland?
I volunteer in the gardens, in the Visitor Center, and for special events. I enjoy volunteering at Oakland because there is such a variety of interesting people who also volunteer there. I have learned so much about the history of Atlanta and enjoyed the company of other wonderful volunteers during the years I have been a volunteer at Oakland. I have enjoyed being a team leader with the Second Saturday gardening volunteer days, and being a guide for the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween tours. Those are only two of the many volunteer opportunities at Oakland.

What is your favorite Oakland experience or moment?
My favorite moment is when visitors to Oakland admire the beauty of the gardens or remark on how much they enjoyed participating in one of the events, because I know how much everyone works to make the events and the cemetery special. So, knowing that my efforts are appreciated by those who visit is rewarding.

If you are interested in volunteering at Historic Oakland Cemetery, want to be considered for our January 2018 new volunteer orientation, or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please click here to learn more about HOF’s volunteer needs and submit an application.   

Volunteer Voices: Getting to Know Oakland Volunteer Christine Leinbach

Oakland Cemetery relies on the incredible energy, dedication, and generosity of over 200 volunteers. Working in the gardens, giving tours, staffing the Visitors Center & Museum Shop, or giving countless hours at special and private events, Oakland volunteers never fail to amaze with their passion and commitment. Weve asked some of Oaklands volunteers to share their stories of how they became involved as Oakland volunteers and their experiences here.


Meet Christine “Chris” Leinbach

Christine Leinbach

Tell us a little bit about yourself and you came to be involved with Oakland.
Not long after my husband Peter and I moved south to the Atlanta “suburb” of Buford in 2010, we joined the Atlanta History Center. We were new to this area, having moved from Reading, Pennsylvania to be nearer our then only three grandkids, who live in Cumming – we now have two more in California! We wanted to become more familiar with our new home, and thought what better way to do that than to learn its history?

It was through one of the Atlanta History Center’s “Party with The Past” events that we were introduced to Oakland Cemetery. Coming to that event was particularly exciting for us. We have always had an interest in old cemeteries. Living just north of Philadelphia for so many years, we were surrounded by early American history; not to mention Peter’s family had roots in Reading going back to the 1600s.

It wasn’t unusual in the 1970s for me to take my young children on rides around the Reading countryside, checking out old graveyards and churchyards for long lost ancestors, picnicking at the gravesites too, much as I imagine those ancestors did decades earlier! So, we eagerly anticipated partying with the past at Oakland, and it did not disappoint! That was in fall 2012 and in January 2013, we attended a volunteer orientation and the rest is, well, history.

Peter and I started out as garden volunteers. Before long (with encouragement from Mary Woodlan, the director of volunteers at that time) I became a tour guide, which allows me to share Oakland’s wonderful story with people of all walks of life and all ages. And for the last five Halloweens, it has been my great pleasure and honor to portray a resident during the Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours.

Christine in the Victorian spirit during Oakland’s Victorian Holiday event.

Why do you volunteer at Oakland?
As a transplanted “Yankee” I have learned so much and come to appreciate the rich history of my new home through the stories of the residents in this hallowed place. There are over 70,000 souls resting here and each one has a special tale. It is hard for me to choose one favorite experience as a result of my volunteering, however, I think being able to bring some of the residents’ stories back to life, even for a little while, during those last weeks in October is probably the most gratifying for me.

It is humbling to revisit these individuals and peel away some of the layers of their lives. Most moving for me is discovering that they were not really different from you or I, despite the century or more separating us their joys and heartaches, successes and tragedies, dreams and disappointments actually mirror our own. I have a passion to keep those stories alive and remind visitors that the folks buried here are not just names on stones; at one time they were vital individuals. Peter and I can’t imagine not being part of Oakland nor missing out on coming to know the great people, our fellow volunteers and the staff here, who we now call special friends. This is truly our family of “creation.”

Christine during Capturing the Spirit of Oakland

What else should we know about you?
I retired before moving here. I was an activities/art therapist in a psych unit at a major hospital in Pennsylvania. My specialty was geriatrics, using art primarily to calm and help individuals with acute dementia related issues. I continue to use my art background now, painting mostly. My subject matter revolves around my grandkids, dogs and especially the beautiful grounds and gardens at Oakland. My husband Peter and I enjoy spending time gardening (at home and at Oakland!) as well as being with our grandkids on both coasts and relaxing with our three sweet dogs.


If you are interested in volunteering at Historic Oakland Cemetery, want to be considered for our January 2018 new volunteer orientation, or want to know more about what our volunteers do, please click here to learn more about HOF’s volunteer needs and submit an application.   

Third annual A Victorian Holiday at Oakland brings holiday cheer to historic Oakland Cemetery

See Oakland’s mausoleums decked out in holiday splendor!

On Dec. 2, Historic Oakland Cemetery adds some history to the holiday season at the third annual A Victorian Holiday at Oakland.

Held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., A Victorian Holiday at Oakland is the final event of the year for Historic Oakland Foundation, and proceeds benefit HOF’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Atlanta’s oldest public burial ground.

During A Victorian Holiday at Oakland, visitors can take the Holiday Tour of Eternal Homes, which gives a “behind-the-stones” look at some of Oakland’s magnificent mausoleums. A costumed tour guide shares the histories of the families who lie in rest in each of the structures, which are decorated in holiday splendor.

In addition to the mausoleum tour, A Victorian Holiday at Oakland includes a wide range of activities for all ages. Visitors can take photos with Santa Claus and his sidekick Rudolph while enjoying a reading of A Visit from St. Nicholas. Kids can try their hand at Victorian crafts and ornament-making, and guitarist Matthias Young performs holiday standards throughout the afternoon. Members of HOF’s gardens team will be on hand to demonstrate how to design and decorate with holiday greenery.

The Holiday Market boasts unique gift items made from local artisans, and A Victorian Holiday at Oakland attendees can take advantage of a 10 percent discount on items purchased in Oakland’s Museum Shop. Douglas fir wreaths and bundles made with greenery harvested from Oakland’s gardens will also be available for purchase.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the season in traditional Victorian style, with sights and sounds that are sure to raise everyone’s spirits,” said HOF Executive Director David Moore.

A Victorian Holiday at Oakland is sponsored by Larkin on Memorial. The event is free and open to the public, but Holiday Mausoleum Tour tickets must be purchased in advance. Tickets are available at www.freshtix.com.

Historic Oakland Cemetery focuses on African American Grounds restoration on Georgia Gives Day

Deborah Strahorn portrays Myra Miller at Capturing the Spirit of Oakland 2017

On Tuesday, Nov. 28 Historic Oakland Foundation (HOF) joins non-profit organizations across the state for Georgia Gives Day. On this statewide day of online giving, HOF has a goal to raise $5,000 in support of its ongoing restoration project in the African American Grounds.

The 3.5-acre area in Oakland Cemetery has not undergone a large-scale restoration in more than 100 years. HOF requires approximately $400,000 to fully restore the area, which will undergo both hardscape and landscape repairs. To date HOF has received generous gifts from individuals, foundations, and corporations including Georgia-Pacific Foundation and Georgia Power Foundation, Inc.

The African American Grounds restoration project began this January, six months after HOF completed a ground-penetrating radar survey of the area. Historically, African American burial traditions utilized natural markers like wood, shrubbery, or flowers, which have been lost through the passage of time. Therefore, much of this section of Oakland Cemetery is bereft of headstones or other visual markers.

To determine what lies beneath, HOF partnered with Atlanta-based remote sensing firm Bigman Geophysical for a technologically-advanced survey of the American Grounds. That survey found nearly 900 probable unmarked burials in the area.

During the recent Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours – held over two weekends in October – HOF raised more than $9,000 for the African American Grounds, thanks to attendees who donated after hearing the story of Oakland resident Myra Miller.

Born a slave in 1811, Miller was among the 10 residents featured on this year’s tours. Miller and her husband moved to Atlanta in the mid-1870s, and she established herself as one of the city’s finest and most sought-after bakers. Miller owned and operated a bakery in downtown Atlanta, and wedding cakes were her specialty.

Capturing the Spirit of Oakland is HOF’s largest annual fundraiser, bringing more than 7,000 visitors through the cemetery’s gates over seven nights. This year’s donations for the African American Grounds broke HOF records.

In 2016 Capturing the Spirit of Oakland attendees donated more than $7,500 to the African American Grounds. The tours featuredDr. Beatrice Thompson, who graduated from medical school in 1901 before setting up a practice in Athens, Ga. During her lifetime Dr. Thompson championed fellow entrepreneurs and invested in Athens’ first black-owned pharmacy.

“Supporting Oakland Cemetery on Georgia Gives Day makes it possible for us to restore and maintain this treasured area, as the families originally intended,” said HOF Executive Director David Moore. “Our Foundation works every day to keep Atlanta’s history alive through a diverse range of programming and projects, and community support is critical to our success.”

Run Like Hell 5K F.A.Q.

Get a head start on registration before it closes on Oct. 11!

Q: Can I register for Run Like Hell on race day? 
A: No. Race registration closes on Wednesday, October 11 and race day registration will not be permitted.

Run Like Hell 5K is capped at 1,600 participants, and registration is filling up quickly. Please do not wait to register, as additional capacity is not guaranteed.

Q: Where do I get my race number?
A: Race packet pickup is available in advance of Run Like Hell, or on race day. Early pickup is available at Big Peach Running Company.

Early pickup at the Decatur location is available from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 12
114 East Trinity Place
Decatur, GA 30030

Early pickup at the Midtown location is available from 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. on Friday, October 13
800 Peachtree Street
Suites B&C
Atlanta, GA 30308

Race day packet and T-shirt pick up is from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Lion Square.

Check out the Memorial Drive Greenway at Run Like Hell!

Q: How early can I arrive at Oakland Cemetery on race day?
A: Oakland Cemetery opens at dawn, and race day packet and t-shirt pickup is available from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at Lion Square.

Q: Why is the route different this year?
A: Run Like Hell is now in its 10th year, and on this milestone anniversary we’re excited to show off an exciting new development happening just outside of Oakland Cemetery’s gates! The new route is faster, and highlights the Memorial Drive Greenway project that leads up to the Georgia State Capitol.

Click here to view and download a Run Like Hell 5K route map.

Q: Who benefits from Run Like Hell?
A:
All proceeds from Run Like Hell benefit Historic Oakland Foundation’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery.

New this year is the opportunity for participants to help HOF fundraise in support of the cemetery’s African American Grounds restoration project. Individual and group participants can fundraise toward HOF’s $5,000 restoration goal.

Q: How do I get my race results?
A: Results will be posted on Oakland’s website and the It’s Your Race registration page by the end of day on race day. Participants can receive results in real time by downloading the It’s Your Race mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices.

May the best costume win!

Q: Can my child participate in Run Like Hell?
A: Yes. Please note that although the Run Like Heck kid’s 1K has been eliminated, children are still welcome to participate in the main race. Awards will be given to kids with the fastest times in the 10 & under and 11-14 age groups.

Children in strollers do not need to be registered as race participants.

Q: How do I get to Oakland Cemetery?
A: For directions to Oakland Cemetery, please click here.

We strongly encourage race participants to utilize public transportation or rideshare service, carpool, bike, or walk to Oakland Cemetery. Bike racks will be available adjacent to Oakland’s main gate at the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

Q: Where do I park?
A: Parking is available at the gravel lot near Oakland Cemetery’s main gate at the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive. Please note that lot parking is available on a first come, first serve basis and off-street parking is limited. Handicap parking is available in the lot at Oakland Cemetery’s gates.

We strongly encourage attendees to walk, bike, carpool or utilize MARTA. Oakland Cemetery is conveniently located just minutes away from the King Memorial rail station. 

Q: Will Run Like Hell be cancelled if it rains?
A: No, Run Like Hell 5K is a rain or shine event.

Q: Can I bring my dog to Run Like Hell?
A: Yes – and costumes are encouraged! The best-dressed dog will take home a prize during the Run Like Hell costume contest. Please keep your dog on a leash at all times, and always pick up after your pet.

Light snacks will be on hand, but be sure to carbo-load before the race!

Q: Can I be a part of Run Like Hell without being in the race?
A: No 5K is complete without a cheering section! Invite your friends, family, and other well-wishers to cheer you along the route with signs and noisemakers. The Memorial Drive Greenway makes for an ideal location for spectators, who are also invited to check out the activities happening inside Oakland Cemetery before and after the race.

Q: Will there be food and drink at Run Like Hell?
A: Complimentary water, bananas, and Muscle Milk bars will be available for race participants. Light refreshments will also be available for purchase from Brown Boys Lemonade, King of Pops, and Wag-A-Lot, which offers doggie ice cream.

Q: How does the costume contest work?  
A: The best-dressed racer will be selected by way of audience participation, so get creative with your costuming! Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Best Adult Male, Best Adult Female, Best Group, and Best Dog.

Norcostco Atlanta Costume offers Run Like Hell registrants 10% off retail costumes and makeup (excludes tech items and rentals) & $5 off costume rental.

Q: What else is there to do at Run Like Hell?  
A: After the race stick around for the awards ceremony and costume contest. Corepower Yoga will offer race participants a free 30-minute yoga session — feel free to bring your own yoga mat! Guided mini-tours of Oakland Cemetery will also be available.

Show your race number at the Oakland pop-up shop at Lion Square for 10% off your purchase. HOF members receive an additional 10% off on purchases.

Get into the spirit with Run Like Hell’s playlist on Apple Music and Spotify!


Get the latest Run Like Hell 5K updates by joining the event Facebook page. 

Thank You to our Sponsors!

Sunday in the Park / HOF 40th Anniversary Celebration F.A.Q.

Q: What can I do at Sunday in the Park? 
A: Historic Oakland Foundation’s 39th annual Victorian-inspired fall festival offers activities for all ages and interests, including: living history demonstrations and presentations on Victorian mourning customs; kid’s crafts and storytelling; a Victorian costume contest; tintype photography booth; and much more. Bands and dancers will perform throughout the day, and Sunday in the Park also includes a market with wares from over 20 local artists.

There’s something for everyone at Oakland’s signature fall festival. To view a full event schedule and map, please click here.

Click to view a Sunday in the Park program

This year HOF commemorates its 40th anniversary, which is incorporated throughout this year’s Sunday in the Park festivities. During the event Oakland will be divided into four historical eras spanning 1850 to the present. Each era features informational panels detailing Oakland and Atlanta history, as well as costumed docents who can answer questions about their respective eras. Be sure to visit each era and get your program passport stamped to take home a gift pack* from some favorite intown businesses.
*Offer available while supplies last.

Q: Is Sunday in the Park free? 
A: In celebration of HOF’s milestone 40th anniversary, this year’s Sunday in the Park fall festival is a neighborhood celebration that is free and open to the public! All proceeds from Sunday in the Park benefit HOF’s mission to preserve, restore, enhance, and share Oakland Cemetery. Donations are welcome as we aim to raise $40,000 in 40 days to celebrate HOF’s 40th anniversary.

Q: What if it rains on Sunday? 
A: Sunday in the Park is a rain or shine event. 

Q: I don’t have any cash; will I be able to use a credit card instead? 
A: Yes. Sunday in the Park accepts credit and debit card payments via Square. It is up to each artist market vendor to choose their preferred method of payment, but many accept credit/debit cards as well. Please note parking in the MARTA parking lot is cash only (see below).

Bike over to Sunday in the Park!

Q: Where should I park my car? 
A: Parking will be available for $5 (cash only) at the MARTA lot on Grant Street. We strongly encourage attendees to walk, bike, carpool or utilize MARTA. Oakland Cemetery is conveniently located just minutes away from the King Memorial rail station. 

Handicap parking is available in the lot at Oakland Cemetery’s gates, at the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive.

Q: Where do I put my bike during Sunday in the Park? 
A: Bike racks will be located at Oakland Cemetery’s main gate (at the intersection of Oakland Avenue and Martin Luther King Boulevard). Please do not ride your bike through Oakland after you’ve entered the gates for Sunday in the Park.

Q: Can I bring my dog to Sunday in the Park? 
A: No. Pets are not permitted at special events at Oakland Cemetery (with the exception of service animals) per City of Atlanta ordinance.

Q: Is Oakland Cemetery a non-smoking venue? 
A: Yes, as a City of Atlanta public park, Oakland Cemetery prohibits smoking on its grounds.

Q: Can I bring a blanket or chair to Sunday in the Park?
A: Yes, you can bring blankets to enjoy the festivities. We ask that you please be mindful of other festival-goers and bring low chairs with a backrest below the neck.

Q: Can I bring a picnic to Sunday in the Park? 
A: Outside food and drink will not be permitted. Sunday in the Park includes food trucks and soft drinks, beer, and wine will be available for purchase. If you have dietary restrictions, please contact food trucks directly to ensure their menu aligns with your needs. Alternatively, consider visiting one of our neighborhood restaurants before or after Sunday in the Park. Food trucks include:

Angelfire7 BBQ
Brown Boys Lemonade
Atlanta Burger Truck
Bullpen Arepas
The Chicken Coop
Cousins Maine Lobster
Flavors of Hawaii
King of Pops
Louisiana Purchase
Oldknow Beverage Co.
TastyBus

Bring your appetite, there’s plenty to choose from at Sunday in the Park

Q: Can I visit Oakland Cemetery for a tour during Sunday in the Park? 
A: The 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. “Sights, Symbols & Stories of Oakland” overview tour and 6:30 special topic tour will not be offered on Sunday, Oct. 1.

Sunday in the Park includes the opportunity to take a variety of 30-minute, mini-tours, which begin at the Out in the Rain fountain near the Bell Tower, unless otherwise noted. Be sure to pick up an event program for a schedule of tours offered at Sunday in the Park, or click here to view the event schedule online.

Q: How do I enter the Victorian costume contest?
A: Arrive in costume and register at Lion Square by 1:45 p.m. The contest begins at 2:15 p.m.

Special Thank You to Sunday in the Park 2017 Sponsors!